Microalgal Technologies - Diatoms as a Potential Energy Source Some microalgae possess the property to produce oils inside their cells as a spare food supply or in response to certain environmental signals. They were estimated to be capable of producing 30 times the amount of oil per unit area of land, compared to terrestrial oilseed crop. Remarkably, the lipid production potential of diatoms is apparently the highest among microalgae: data demonstrate that lipids can account for 20-30% of their body weight. In the framework of multidisciplinary collaboration within the University of Ghent, work is being initiated to study and evaluate various aspects underpinning potential economical applications of diatoms, e.g. cultivability, oil production and nanotechnology. The production of these organisms in larger quantities is also a topic of interest.